Keith Curle is keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to the availability of goalkeeper Laurie Walker for Tuesday's game at Harrogate.

The MK Dons loanee battled through the 4-3 defeat at Morecambe on Saturday having been hit by a back problem.

The 31-year-old had been struggling in the run up to the game and could not complete a full warm-up ahead of facing the Shrimps but the decision was made that he would play at the Mazuma Stadium.

With a quick turnaround for the trip to North Yorkshire Curle admits fingers are crossed that Walker will be ready, both manager and keeper having been involved in the call for him to power through his discomfort at the weekend.

“He’s not too bad,” the Latics boss told The Oldham Times.

“The lad’s desperate to play. The medical advice was 50-50 and I take a lot of responsibility because I influenced his decision because I needed him out there playing.

“It’s settled down a little bit with his back and we just need to make sure there’s no reaction.

“Everyone who has had a bad back will know it can go overnight and it can take four, five, six days to settle down.”

Walker is on a week-to-week emergency loan at Boundary Park having signed last month following Ian Lawlor’s season-ending ankle injury, the Irishman returning to parent club Doncaster Rovers.

Despite plenty of experience in non-league, Walker’s first Latics outing against Cambridge was his EFL debut and he has gone on to play the last nine games for Curle.

His injury opened up the possibility that Oldham could again be forced to dip into the loan market but the Latics boss has ruled that option out and will turn to understudy Laurence Bilboe if needed.

Bilboe was a summer arrival after being released by Rotherham and the 23-year-old, whose only previous senior experience prior to joining Oldham came on loan at Havant &Waterlooville, has made three appearances this season.

“If Laurie’s not right then we revert to what we’ve got internally,” Curle said when asked about the possibility of another loan arrival.

"Laurence is champing at the bit for his opportunity.”